Metoo scandal in Estonia
A women's football player has sparked a major Metoo debate after making public that she was lured into a sexual relationship that started when she was 14 and went on for several years by her then 52-year-old coach Getúlio Aurelio Fredo. Observers are sceptical as to whether raising the age of consent from 14 to 16, as is now under discussion, can solve the problem.
Everyone looked away
Social Democratic MEP Hannes Rumm says in Lääne Elu that he doubts that raising the age of consent would do much good:
“Would the football coach have refrained from exploiting his position of power if in the penal code the number 16 instead of 14 appeared? ... We cannot know that. But we did learn from the abused girl that her 'relationship' with the coach, who was in his fifties, was known to many people - both at the football club and among the other players, and apparently also among many parents. Even if such a 'relationship' was in accordance with the framework of the law, how is it possible that none of those in the know raised the issue with the club management? ... It's easy to blame the flawed laws. It's much harder to protect the vulnerable when it is actually possible.”
Raising the age of consent would help
Õhtuleht believes that raising the age of consent could at least be a first step towards protecting potential victims of abuse:
“Does an age of consent of 14 reflect society's understanding of what a relationship looks like in which both parties are equally and adequately protected by the law? Probably not, as one can conclude from the reactions to this case. ... It is in the power of politicians to create an additional obstacle. ... Certainly, even raising the age of consent to 16 will not guarantee that relationships that will later be remembered with horror and regret can no longer develop, or that those who take the risk of approaching minors despite fear of punishment will disappear. ... But at least some young people would be spared some suffering.”